Obama Brings Message Of Diversity To Kids, Parents
(BALTIC, CT)—President Barack Obama has made headlines around the world as the first African-American to fill the role of President of the United States. So what effect will his position as president have on kids around the country who might also feel “different”?
J.A. Osowski, author of the new children’s book The Ant with Red Pants, believes that examples of diversity and teamwork are exactly what the varied population of the United States needs for its children.
“Too often we try to hide the things we believe are weaknesses or that make us different,” says Mr. Osowski. “Having public examples of people who believe in themselves and who don’t listen when other people say they are ‘different’ is a good thing.”
Mr. Osowski’s book, illustrated by Michael and Alicia Smith, is about an ant named Andrew who believes his legs are too skinny for him to be an effective worker ant. Andrew is embarrassed, and so makes pants for himself from a spider’s web in order to hide his legs.
“We all have insecurities about feeling like an outsider or that we aren’t the same as the other people around us,” says Mr. Osowski. “It’s important that stories like Mr. Obama’s stand as examples of how everyone brings something to the table and that we are all better off by having a part to play.”
Andrew the ant learns to overcome his insecurities when he realizes that his colony needs him to set his personal insecurities aside so that they can all have a safe winter. It’s a lesson that Mr. Osowski has taught to hundreds of school kids during readings of his book.
“The moral of the story is how children can discover and celebrate their own personal gifts and talents and not try to be someone else,” says Mr. Osowski. “That’s something we’ve all learned something about recently.”
J.A. Osowski resides in eastern Connecticut with his wife, Ann Marie. They have two grown children and two grandchildren. Drawing from his own experiences, he hopes to build children’s confidence as they try to fit in with their peers in today’s society.
Illustrators Michael and Alicia Smith reside in eastern Connecticut with their two children, a boy and a girl. Michael works part-time and cares for their son, who has special needs. Alicia is an elementary-level art teacher in the town of Ledyard.
(The Ant with Red Pants by J.A. Osowski; ISBN: 1-59971-974-6; $15.95; 28 pages; 8” x 10”; hardcover; Baltic Books)
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